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To Truly See, You Must Be A Seeker Of God

1 John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  33:45
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Secular -

A man left work one Friday afternoon. Being payday, instead of going home, he stayed out the entire weekend hunting with the boys and spent his entire paycheck. When he finally appeared at home, Sunday night, he was confronted by a very angry wife and was barraged for nearly two hours with a tirade befitting his actions.
Finally, his wife stopped and simply asked him, "How would you like it if you didn't see me for two or three days?"
To which he replied, "That would be fine with me."
Monday went by and he didn't see his wife. Tuesday and Wednesday came and went with the same results.
Thursday, the swelling went down just enough where he could see her a little out of the corner of his left eye.

Historical/Cultural Context -

The book of 1 John is one of the five books in the New Testament that was written by John the Apostle, brother of James. They were known as the sons of thunder. This letter was written between A.D. 85 to A.D. 100. First John was written to a church or group of churches in crisis—churches who were being attacked by false teaching. Some individuals who had once been associated with the church had accepted heresy and had left the church. After they left they continued to spread their false teaching to the church. They went so far as to organize and send out itinerant preachers to various churches with the goal of converting those in the churches to their beliefs. This created confusion and plunged the churches into crisis. In response to this situation, John wrote 1 John, following that up with 2 and 3 John. His goal was to stop this false teaching and to bring comfort to the Christians in these churches.

Biblical Text -

1 John 2:3–11 NKJV
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

-[Prayer]-

Life Principle - Don’t Be Blind, Walk In Love, And Allow God To Improve Your Character

Life Point- Is Your Character Improving Or Stagnate.

Exegetical -

1 John 2:3–6 NKJV
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

Homiletical -

We know that we know Him if we keep His commandments.
When you are truly saved, you start to live out the commandments of Jesus. They become apart of you.
Hebrews 8:10–12 NKJV
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Matthew 22:34–40 NKJV
But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Can we do this perfectly?
No, or Jesus’ sacrifice would not be necessary.
The book of James would have been written already during this time. Here is what he says.
James 2:18 NKJV
But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
This brings us back to the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22–24 NKJV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
How do we know if someone is saved right away? Really there isn’t a way. You can get a feeling, but a lot of times those feelings are wrong. We have to know people over time.
Do they exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
Maybe not all the time, but a good deal of the time.
This is also a litmus test for the person who thinks they’re saved.
Has your nature changed? Was there a change when you came to Christ?
When showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control is it natural for you? Or is it now apart of who you are.
If these are things that you have to “work up” then I would seriously find out why.
Are you sure your saved?
Or is it more of a relationship problem? Are you spending time with Jesus? Are you having your mind renewed day-by-day?
Oh we won’t be perfect at it, but is it happening at all?
Romans 12:2 NKJV
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Philippians 4:8 NKJV
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
2 Corinthians 4:16 NKJV
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
Remember what Paul’s command was when dealing with someone who claims Christ, lives in blatant sin and refuses to stop.
1 Corinthians 5:11 NKJV
But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

Illustration -

Life Point - Love Is The One Rule For Life

Exegetical -

1 John 2:7–8 NKJV
Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

Homiletical -

What is this new commandment? Yet, not an old commandment?
Romans 13:8–10 NKJV
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Matthew 22:34–40 NKJV
But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
If someone could do this perfectly then we would have no need of Jesus, because we would have no sin.
To be real honest I can’t do that personally. Can you?
If you think you can let me just say you are deceiving yourself. Remember Romans 3:23?
Romans 3:23 NKJV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
The commandment is Love. We are to walk in the love of Christ.
Well, what about if someone is wrong in sin and you need to correct them?
Do it in love. What is your motivation?
What if someone does you wrong?
Make sure you are walking in love, pray for them and if it something that needs to be handled, do it in love.
You know it can be easy to say, but much harder to do.
That is why we need to spend time with God, so we have His love flowing through us.
Don’t believe me? pray for your enemies, it can be hard.
Matthew 5:43–48 NKJV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Too often we forget this. We forget that we are to walk in Love in all of our interactions, Choices and thoughts.
You know it is considered cliche today, but it still holds true.
Before you act or speak, ask What Would Jesus Do?
The thing is, most Christians today have no idea what Jesus would do, because they don’t read or study the Bible. They have a weird false picture of who jesus is in their minds.
They also don’t really spend time in prayer, waiting on God and allowing the Holy Spirit to minister to them.
Why? because there are too many distractions around us at all times.
When was the last time you spent time, just you and God with the Bible in prayer?
Has it been so long you can’t remember?
Some of you all may think I am beating a dead horse. Like you hear me say this all the time.
That is because the Bible says it a lot. You would think we humans would get it after 2 or 3 times; we don’t.

Illustration -

There was a church looking for a pastor, and they had many candidates come through. The next candidate comes through preaching on “Showing God’s Love.” Well, they finally found a pastor who was dynamic, he had them in the palm of his hands and with no delay they called him as the pastor.
The first Sunday in his new position he preaches the same sermon again. They enjoyed it, but thought it was funny he preached the same sermon. The deacons thought, maybe he just needed more time to come up with more sermons, so they let it slide.
The second Sunday shows up and everyone is waiting in anticipation of what he might preach about. This time, he preached the same sermon again. Bewildered the deacons decided to hold a meeting with the pastor.
They asked, “Pastor we love your sermon, but we think you need to move on, to preach something different.” The pastor responded, “I would love to move on.” So they thought their work was done.
The next Sunday comes and with a little hesitation everyone was waiting for his sermon. He got up and preached the same sermon. Finally, at the end of the service, one of the deacons stands up and asks. “Why haven’t you moved on from this sermon? You said you would love too!” The pastor responds, “I would love too, just as soon as you put into practice this sermon on “Showing God’s Love” I can move on to the next.”

Life Point - Don’t Let Hatred Blind Your Eyes

Exegetical -

1 John 2:9–11 NKJV
He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Homiletical -

When you think about Christ’s love and all that He went through for us. How can we really hold true hate in our hearts and call ourselves Christians?
Someone is going to say, “But pastor you don’t know what such and such did to me.” You’re right I don’t know the turmoil you have been through, and maybe most people in the world would end up in hate and bitterness. But not the Christian, the Christian is grounded in love and forgiveness.
If this is you, you don’t yet fathom what Jesus went through for you. Jesus had a parable about this.
Matthew 18:21–35 NKJV
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
This should ring a bell, this should show you to not deceive yourself thinking you are Christ’s, when you’re not.
Romans 5:6–11 NKJV
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Tell me how can a person who hates someone truly hold on to that hate, in light of what Christ has done?
John says they walk in the darkness because their eyes have been blinded, because they are in darkness still and truly are not belonging to Jesus Christ.
Matthew 15:1–14 NKJV
Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
Only those who know the extent of their sin, who are seekers of God are the saved ones. Not those who walk in hate toward others and are self-deceived in their self-righteousness.

Illustration -

The preacher’s Sunday sermon had a part in it about forgiving your enemies. Toward the end of the service, He asked his congregation, “how many of you have forgiven their enemies”?
About half held up their hands. He then repeated his question. As it was past lunchtime, this time about 80 percent held up their hands. He then repeated his question again. All responded, except one small lady.
“Mrs. Jones?” inquired the preacher, Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?
“I don’t have any.” she replied. smiling sweetly.
“Mrs. Jones, That is very unusual. How old are you?” “Ninety-three,” she replied.
“Oh Mrs. Jones, what a blessing and a lesson to us all you are. Would you please come down in front of this congregation and tell us all how a person can live ninety-three years and not have an enemy in the world.”
The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation, and said “I outlived them all.”

Life Principle Don’t Be Blind, Walk In Love, And Allow God To Improve Your Character

Call to Action – altar call….

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